Author Topic: A month in the shop  (Read 2447 times)

PonoBill

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A month in the shop
« on: May 29, 2022, 09:15:01 AM »
It's great to be back in Hood River, and I love working in my shop, but I haven't been in the water for a month. A combination of bitter cold water and fucked knee has been keeping me land-bound. The knee has been so bad I can't even ride a bicycle or motorcycle--my range of motion without stabbing pain is about -10 to -90 degrees, I need about 120 to ride a conventional bike. My knee doc is a lot more open to knee replacement after seeing the latest X-rays, so he sent me for a bone scan. After reviewing it he said nope. Not there. A little closer, but no. A second opinion agreed and the two PTs I talked to in Hood River all said "Yeah, we can get you there, don't get this replaced until you really need to." So my life is going to include a lot of knee workouts, PT, and a bit of blinding pain. In other words, normal.

I'm thrilled, it means my summer is not going to be all fucked up. So I'm working hard on putting my recumbent e-Bike back in service, probably to the dismay of the Hood River police department. I built the thing in the first place ten years ago to rehab my knee after meniscus surgery. I split one of the giant batteries I had in my trike into two smaller ones (NOT a simple undertaking). The giant ones had enough capacity for a century ride over Mt. Hood, but I'm not doing that again, so I don't need 60 pounds of batteries. I also put my fat tire e-bike back in service, and I can already pedal it. Any slips or false moves are accompanied by loud profanity, so that's going to be popular at the event center. Bicycle Tourettes.

I've also re-assembled all my 3D printers and I'm getting them tuned up. Somehow my fleet of printers has expanded from two to six. Seven if I count the laser/liquid one and eight with the 2D laser cutter. I think they are reproducing. I've been given two by people who discovered I actually use them for things other than printing plastic gargoyles. I have three beavering away making parts for my projects and three that need just a bit more attention.

I put a new highly modified exhaust system and reworked the footpegs (lower, a little more forward, and not tilted) on my KTM 390 ADV. A cheap-ish adventure bike that makes a great platform for me to build the adventure bike I want. I also rewired my 1990 BMW R100GS PD and tweaked the electrical system to optimize it for a Lithium battery. Not simple, but fun. Next up is finishing the restoration work on the 1959 BSA Goldstar I promised to my youngest daughter for her birthday. Good thing it's a right leg kicker or I could never get it started. It's a crazy-ass bike, makes me nervous to give it to her. Way too fast for its brakes, and knowing her she'll have to see what it will do. A hundred miles an hour is pretty easy to reach with this primitive 500cc thumper. Fortunately, the cops will probably be watching her like a hawk. It sounds like it's going 100 when it's sitting still. It doesn't idle--the primitive GP carb has to have the throttle constantly blipped to stay running. It sounds like you're trying to get someone to race you when you just want to get going after a traffic light without stalling the bike or frying the clutch.

And of course, I'm working on my boosted foil boards. Mark Raaphorst gave me a mold for an axis wing that weighs so much I can hardly move the thing. I made a foam core to mold a wing, now I need to figure out how many layers for carbon to use and sand down the foam suitably. I think this might provide a good "standard" wing that I won't feel bad about cutting up to for the basis for various experimental wings. I'll crank out four or five and see how it goes. I'm also going to try 3D printing elements of the wing core. I can make a heavily filled core in the center and in the fuselage to wing transition that turns into a lattice to support foam. Could be cool, but could be a waste of time other than the learning opportunity, I might even try a semi-hollow wing, though it sounds like a very stupid idea.

I'm going to start paddling in the early shift with the HROC on Monday, and as soon as we have wind again in HR, I'm winging. See you out there.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2022, 09:23:49 AM by PonoBill »
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

daswusup

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Re: A month in the shop
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2022, 07:19:37 AM »
beautiful ramblings. Fun projects. Here's my idea for another project. I think you are the most qualified for it. Compressed air foil assist for DW or light wind winging. I'm thinking re-fillable Soda Stream bottles mounted on board or inside board. I know that we don't need much of a boost to get up, maybe just 3-4 seconds. Some kind of foot actuated switch or gas pedal. I am not sure where the jet should fire out of, mast or fuse, paddle? I think this could be a very low drag system. Would the air jet just cause ventilation? It would be very light compared to batteries and a motor. If you could have it ready by mid July that would be awesome as I will be in the neighborhood. 

PonoBill

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Re: A month in the shop
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2022, 08:04:44 AM »
This actually might be useful information for some folks, for others, TLDR. One of the benefits of taking apart big Lithium batteries is that you can find and eliminate bad cells. My ten-year-old eTrike batteries wouldn't reach full charge and didn't deliver the kind of range they provided for the first five years. When I opened the battery to split it out into two smaller batteries I found the problem--one set of the cell clusters read just a few tenths of a volt instead of the 3.3 volts all the rest showed.


This battery is 16S18P meaning it consists of 288 cells in 16 clusters connected in series, the clusters being 18 Lithium 18650 battery cells connected in parallel (18650 means cells that are 18mm diameter, 65 mm long, the last 0 means this is a cylindrical cell). The series connections mean the battery provides about 54 volts at nominal full charge (3.4 V per cell X 16 = 54.4. The parallel clusters of 18 roughly 1 amp-hour cells mean the battery is 18Ah at 54V, about 1000watt-hours or 1KWh. An unusually powerful battery for a bike, and I carried two of them.

Older batteries (or some homemade batteries today) like this have the cells connected with spot-welded strips of nickel. If one battery in the parallel cluster shorts out (one possible failure mode of lithium cells) then it pulls down the voltage of the rest of the cluster. More modern commercial batteries connect each cell with a fuse wire. The shorted cell draws lots of current so the fuse wire blows and the rest of the cluster still works--you only lose one cell. With an older battery, the rest of the cluster drops to nearly 0 volts which destroys them. The cluster now looks like a short circuit, so the battery still works, but at a lower voltage and with less capacity.

The battery can be restored to perhaps nearly full capacity by replacing the cells in the shorted cluster, so that's what I'm doing. The rest of the clusters read within a few tenths of a volt of each other, so I'm assuming the old BMS actually balances the cells. Once I install the new cell clusters in both the set still connected to the old BMS, and the set I split away I'll hand balance them and then give them a full charge. After that, I just add a BMS (I happen to have one) to the new smaller pack, repackage both, and hit the road.


The bad cells are in this stack. Once they've been discharged this far they are not safely recoverable. Fortunately, the bad cluster was right at the split where the pack gets folded, so it wasn't quite such a bitch to remove. This is the bad cluster from both of the split packs. the smaller 8P cluster is the new pack, and the larger 10P cluster is the pack still connected to the old BMS. If I'd planned a little better I could have split them into two 9P packs. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer sometimes.

Of course, none of the Lithium cells I have on hand (doesn't everyone?) will work, so I have to wait for 18 cells to be delivered. In the meantime I'll fix my spot welder (yeah, toasted) and practice my battery-building skills by building a set of batteries for the boosted foils I'm making. I have a fairly huge stash of 26650 LiPO4 cells that I was going to make batteries for Fritz--the stupid Moho project--that I powered with Tesla modules from a wrecked Model S instead.

I spent yesterday doing the testing, isolating the bad cell cluster, and rebuilding the drive unit hidden under the seat of my recumbent eTrike. I'm going to have to reprogram the controller for lower power. I replaced the Shimano Alfine 8-speed internally geared rear hub with a NuVinci variable-ratio hub, but it's only rated for 350 watts. I'll run it around 500 watts and see if it survives. This motor can manage 1200watts, but I never use that much--I rarely got above 600watts even when climbing from Hood River to Mt. Hood.



My eDrive on this trike is pretty sneaky, it looks like a stock trike since the seat covers it from above and my pannier bags cover it from the sides. The battery boxes hang from the two main cross tubes and are also mostly under the seat. When I pass a line of lycra dudes cranking up a long hill they don't know exactly what to think. Recumbent bike efficiency, I say.

Of course, now that I've done all this work I find that my el-cheapo fat tire e-bike is easier on my knee than the trike as long as I set the seat to nut-crush height. So I rode it around for half an hour yesterday and it was great. Of course, I scoured the shop looking for the surfboard carrier loops so I can use this thing for wing foiling transport. Didn't find them yet. If nothing else I'm working on a massive shop cleanup plan to get some help and roll everything out of the shop, clean, then figure out what stays in the shop and what goes in the containers. It seems likely I'd find them then.

« Last Edit: May 30, 2022, 08:27:32 AM by PonoBill »
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

PonoBill

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Re: A month in the shop
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2022, 08:06:40 AM »
Da, I think you're on your own with that project. I could put it in the queue, but you'd probably like to see something before 2040.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

surfcowboy

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Re: A month in the shop
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2022, 06:50:18 AM »
Pono, I'm finally making some progress on my garage reorg. Just in time for me to seriously start looking to move lol.

It's so hard to take apart a semi-functional messy area and make it functional. But it's worth it. I've gone full mini mythbusters with sterilize shoe containers for everything I could fit and then adjusted my shelves to hold no more than 2 high per shelf. Bought 2 more tool chests with drawers and still don't have those worked out but getting there.

Need to pick a cheap 3D printer now that I have bench space. Should I just YouTube reviews and get an ender or creality (that big ass Longer looks fun). Or do I need to go name brand in your opinion? Gotta make a tow boogie and 5,000 useless widgets.

PonoBill

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Re: A month in the shop
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2022, 06:55:46 AM »
Pono, I'm finally making some progress on my garage reorg. Just in time for me to seriously start looking to move lol.

It's so hard to take apart a semi-functional messy area and make it functional. But it's worth it. I've gone full mini mythbusters with sterilize shoe containers for everything I could fit and then adjusted my shelves to hold no more than 2 high per shelf. Bought 2 more tool chests with drawers and still don't have those worked out but getting there.

Need to pick a cheap 3D printer now that I have bench space. Should I just YouTube reviews and get an ender or Creality (that big ass Longer looks fun). Or do I need to go name brand in your opinion? Gotta make a tow boogie and 5,000 useless widgets.

The Creality Ender 3 is well supported by a huge community and therefore is so upgradable and tunable, that it's the easy choice. The Prusa is a better printer out of the box, but the Ender 3 is less than a third the price and works fine just as it is--I recommend the Pro version for a few bucks more. If you wind up printing a lot of stuff then you'll probably upgrade it so it can handle higher temperature material. The upgrade path is well charted in an endless variety of youtube videos. It's a real timesink for geeks though--you can get deeply involved in making the printer do exactly what you want, modifying firmware, networking printers together, printing enhancement parts, changing motherboards and adding automated bed calibration. It's endless. Or you can just print stuff.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

 


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